1st wave of allied assault against Libya launched

17:44, March 20, 2011      

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Western forces have hit targets along the Libyan coast, striking from both the air and sea. The military action aims to force a cease fire between Muammar Gaddafi's troops and rebels, and to end attacks on civilians.

French planes fired the first shots, destroying tanks and armored vehicles in the region of the rebels' eastern stronghold, Benghazi.

Hours later, US and British warships and submarines launched the first phase of missile strikes on Libyan air defenses, firing 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles at more than 20 coastal targets around the capital Tripoli and the western city of Misrata. Libyan state television said they hit civilian areas of Tripoli and fuel storage tanks that supplied Misrata.

It's the biggest international military intervention in the Arab world since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. US forces and planes have been working with Britain, France, Canada and Italy in the operation dubbed "Odyssey Dawn". Gaddafi has called the intervention "colonial, crusader" aggression.

After Libya was bombarded, Arabic satellite channels reported Sunday that Libya has called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, but details about the purpose of such a meeting were not given.

Source: CNTV.cn
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